Sweg:i Baw:i (Red Tepary Beans)
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Bawi-tepary beans- have sustained the Tohono O'odham for countless generations. In Tohono O'odham legends, the Milky Way is made of tepary beans scattered across the sky. Tepary beans are grown during the blistering hot summer of the sonoran desert, and are also one of the most heat and drought resistant crop in the world. The same adaptations that allow them to thrive in harsh desert conditions make them incredibly healthy. They are extremely high in protein and very low on the glycemic index (29). As a result they are not only delicious, but also help to regulate blood sugar levels.
Preparation- Basic cooking methods when cooking tepary beans in a crock pot. Tepary beans are perfect for the crock pot. The long, slow cooking brings out the sweetness of the bean and makes a delicious broth.
2 cups of dried tepary beans, picked through and rinsed with water
2 teaspoons salt and water
Add the dried beans and 2 teaspoons of salt and fill your crock pot with double the amount of water as beans. Cover and cook on high until water comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, at least 8 hours or until the beans are soft but not falling apart.
Yield: about 4 cups
Basic cooking methods courtesy (From I'itoi's Garden Book) Tohono O'odham Food traditions.
Recipes- O'odham Tepary Bean Soup
2 cups tepary bean- soaked
1 clove garlic- Diced
6 cups water
3 cups Tomatoes with Juice
4 slices Bacon- Diced
1 tsp Mixed Oregano and Cumin
1 Medium Onion- Chopped
1 cup Celery- Diced
2 Carrots- Sliced
Drain soaked beans add fresh water and bring to a boil in a big pot. When beans are tender, fry bacon until limp. Remove bacon, add onion, carrots, celery and garlic to bacon grease and sauté. Add bacon tomatoes and remainingspices and cook for 10 minutes, add mixture to beans and cook another hour until beans are tender. Serve with flour tortillas or fresh fry bread. Dried red chile pepper may be stirred into pot during the last 10 minutes.
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